Pussycat during a performance at TopPop television programme in 1975
|Origin||Brunssum, Limburg, Netherlands|
Pussycat was a Dutch country and pop music group from Brunssum, driven by the three Kowalczyk sisters: Toni, Betty and Marianne. Other members of the band were Lou Willé (Toni's husband), Theo Wetzels, Theo Coumans and John Theunissen.
Prior to forming the band, the three sisters were telephone operators in Limburg, whilst Theunissen, Wetzles and Coumans were in a group called Scum. Lou Wille played in a group called Ricky Rendall and His Centurions until he married Toni, and created the group Sweet Reaction that eventually became known as Pussycat.
In 1975 they scored a big European hit with the song "Mississippi". However they had to wait a further year for the single to make the British charts when it climbed to number one in the UK Singles Chart in October 1976. Penned by Werner Theunissen, who had been the sisters' guitar teacher, it is estimated that "Mississippi" sold over five million copies worldwide. It was later followed by "Smile" in 1976, and "Hey Joe" in 1978. Other hits were "If You Ever Come to Amsterdam", "Georgie", "Wet Day in September" and "My Broken Souvenirs". Their career in Europe spanned more than a decade and included some seventeen albums. By 1978 Hans Lutjens had replaced Coumans on drums, as the band continued to release albums and tour, travelling as far afield as South Africa. They made regular appearances on the West German TV series, Musikladen, in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
During the 1980s the sisters found it increasingly difficult to finance huge tours with so many musicians, and replaced their backing band with taped music, and thus Pussycat shifted their image one last time. They continued to play and record through to 1985 when they finally disbanded.
Toni Willé, whose own extracurricular activities had commenced back in 1973 with her own single release "For You" (under the alias Sally Lane), proved especially prolific, unleashing a string of albums, of which New Words to an Old Love Song saw her elected Best Female Country Singer of the Year by the Dutch magazine, Country Gazette.
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- List of artists who reached number one on the UK Singles Chart
- List of country music performers
- List of Bands from the Netherlands
- "Biography by Amy Henson". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
- Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 178. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 443. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.